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The importance of COMMUNITY for creatives of color

One of our favorite youtubers here at YourTryb, Jouelzy, created a video titled “Why Is It So Hard to Hire Black Women Creatives?” She ended the video by posing this question to her viewers “… what is your biggest fear about pursuing your art?” The responses were eye opening and a little bit sad. As you can see from the image below, there’s a fear of the unpredictable nature of the industry and a fear of not succeeding.

The thing is, creative work is just as important to the economy as the more technical roles. Creatives are the bedrock of marketing departments and other branding and go to market endeavors. There are also droves of people who feel secure as creatives. Secure in their ability to be hired, find work and generally exist within the system. An Ad Week article attributes one of the biggest hindrances in being a black creator to the "lack of mentorship, kinship and available platforms to be one’s unique self.” Community serves to fulfill creatives in two pivotal ways

The first is the space to be one's unique self.Creativity blooms from individuality and not feeling the freedom to fully unleash oneself on their work can be crippling in the creative world. People of color lack these spaces in the formal creative economy. They don’t know if those in positions of power will ‘get’ them and since the larger society tends to define the larger consumer audience as people who are not racially diverse there is a concern about audience reception of one’s work. Community for people of color would help to dispel some of these issues especially for people who are at the infancy of their professional creative journeys. Community means people who can look out for each other. It widens the network of creatives of color increasing their ability to find work.

The second is that kinship. Given some of the fears already listed above, it can be difficult to make that leap into pursuing a career as a creative of color. Support from friends and family would inspire more confidence in those who are just starting out. It would legitimize creativity as a viable career option. That near lack of legitimacy of creative careers in the black and brown community is having a negative effect. It makes it seem abnormal to follow that path. People in those spaces can feel like imposters once there. It also reduces the amount of people who pay money in form of tuition to learn their creative craft more formally. The role of community in the creative community of color cannot be understated and the black and brown community needs a change in how these fields are viewed.

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